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They simply follow their hearts, and any obstacles they face are a result of emotional and personal complications, not struggles with their identities.
“We were determined to not make any of the dads' individual paths their sexuality or have their sexuality be their defining trait," Gray says.
One of the dads, Damien, is transgender as well, though you can easily play through the game without realizing it; there's no neon sign pointing at his gender identity, only subtle hints as you get to know him better.
Like the rest of the dads, he is who he is—and he is allowed to be, without controversy.
"We can have narratives that are about queer people that are not necessarily about being queer.
It’s about these relationships.”When you create your own character, you also have the option to make him a trans dad if you wish, complete with the ability to choose chest binders.
Gray notes that while queer people—along with women and people of color—have long been expected to sympathize with straight, white cis characters, the mainstream games industry remains reluctant to ask the reverse.
And yet, this presumed lack of empathy or imagination hasn’t stopped lots of people outside the LGBT community from playing and helping make it a hit.“This is a very queer game, but it has legs longer than what a lot of people might have considered niche,” Gray says.
Yes, the Goth Dad enjoys cloaks and long walks in graveyards, and the Jock Dad loves getting in his reps at the gym—but they both struggle to cope with rebellious children, shattered marriages, and the parts of their lives that they are ashamed to share with the world.“A lot of times with dating sims it’s a matter of getting a read on the character’s personality and telling them exactly what they want to hear,” Gray says.“That's a really frustrating way to play a game.”, though, encourages players not to think about romance as a game at all.It’s a subversion of dating sims that is not just the best dating sim I’ve ever played but also one of the best games of the year.At first glance, the game's romantic roster looks like a who’s who of sexy stereotypes: the bad boy, the jock, the sensitive artist, the clean-cut hunk.
You can try to impress the music nerd or the academic with knowledge you don't have, but chances are your fakery will fall flat.